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Best of luck. Hi Thanks! Happy Gardening! Starting in late September, place the poinsettia in a spot where it's in complete darkness for approximately 13 hours each night. I am from India. I suspect more will start to turn, especially since your plant is still very leafy and healthy. I cost you 10 days already! The holes which would allow light in won’t allow that to happen. Dropping the temperature to about 60 F at night will not hurt the plant. . I put them outside in the spring and forget about them until fall. I see the stems are turning more red but I’ve noticed the more leafs are falling then usual. Then make sure it gets plenty of bright light on Monday morning. Repotting your poinsettia plant may also help. My question is , is it to late to turn it’s leaves red? What would be your advise in terms of pruning while the bracts are still present and should I pop them outside for the summer (Dublin temps are 12 to 20degrees centigrade). https://www.growingagreenerworld.com/turning-poinsettias-red-again/. Thanks. I would leave it in bright light while you are away and resume the 14-10 rotation when you return. Thank you. Happy gardening! th. Best of luck. I live in Kansas City. This is why I persuaded my husband to build a special box that I could hang grow lights from and cover the top of the box so that it is in complete darkness when the light is off. I’m SO impressed with myself, I’ve never managed this with a plant (except a spider plant but a toddler could grow those!). Poinsettias come in a range of colors from white to orange, but are most popular in their red variety. Root rot could also be the cause. It's the perfect decoration for office parties and family gatherings alike. Not sure if this is better or worse. I open the windows when home and when winter kicks in, I open the windows more to expose it to cold air; thinking that helps. As long as moisture remains in the saucer, you should be fine. Can I just put a plastic bag over it for the 14 hours a day? That’s why your leaves are dropping off now. As for turning new leaves red again, following the guide in the article should do the trick. But if there is too much ambient light throughout the night, it could impact your results. How to get bicolor leaves . This has being going on for at least 4 weeks or more. Choose a healthy-looking plant. I have never been to a website where there were so many thorough answers!!! Now however I have two to three ft plants with almost a barky type stem and few leaves. I water them only when quite dry. This is the first time I tried “recycling” a Christmas poinsettia. Another reason to avoid direct sunlight is that it may become too hot for the plant. Make sure it’s being potted up in good soil, and gets plenty of water but not to the point where the soil is saturated. The branches you want to keep should be spread evenly around the tree to make it look round and nice. But that’s one of the mysteries of gardening I love so much. Nothing out of the ordinary, that is, until this year! If so, even with ample water, they won’t be able to take up water. The bracts will start to turn color in about four weeks, and continue if you carefully keep up the process. The cardboard breathes, and the plant wont overheat. Thank you!! It’s transplant shock. Unfortunately I had to be away for conferences and meetings 4 times and so the treatment was not consistent. Is it too close to a heat vent? Thanks for checking in Paulette. Keeping an office plant at the office over the weekend in hopes of it turning red again can be a challenge. I love poinsettias! You should always keep the soil in your poinsettia’s pot moist. Q I have a large poinsettia with plenty of fresh green leaves. John. While you might get lucky, the protocol would not be satisfied using your idea. None of the leaves are turning red but, I do have new growth. Hope this information helps. But I wouldn’t worry about pruning them yet. If it lives thru this Christmas ,I will try doing what you are saying for next Christmas. I bought a few poinsettias five days ago. But if you want to have a high chance of success, that’s what you need to do. The plant needs time to reproduce new growth. hi..i have started to put the plant in closet..but yesterday forget to put it..will this affect the process?. It is now May and it has stayed red and healthy the whole time. From what im reading in this article, this is OK? I followed Joe’s article and got red leaves last year by Christmas. However, cold drafts, allowing the leaves to touch a cold window, or more importantly, lack of decent light, can injure the leaves and cause premature leaf drop. Good luck. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Very leggy plants tell me it needs more light. I was wondering re the chlorophyll deprivation that makes the leaves go red… do you think it would be possible to put black tape ‘stripes’ on the leaves and have them go partially red and remain partially green? The leaves are wilted and limp. I’m looking forward to this challenge (and bragging rights!). I don’t want to kill it, as it was given to me by a friend who died shortly after and it has sentimental value to it. It could be a number of things. I’ve always considered myself to have a black thumb so I’m scared to mess with it since doing nothing so far has made it seemingly happy. Best of luck. These plants are thriving and are beautiful. We live in the Pac NW and only have about 5 hrs of dark right now, so moving it to somewhere darker in a few months will do the trick? Once this occurs, cut the stems back to four to six inches. When you say “bloom” I assume you are talking about turning the leaves red. Secondly, what happens if I leave the bag on for more than 14 hours, say 15 or 16 hours? Don’t feel bad if it’s a bigger undertaking than you have time for. Or do I need to bring it out each day? Is it unusual for the white bracts to be still in place – only one or two of the leaves have dropped to date. Hey Alex. Zak, I love your story. But at this point you could keep the experiment going to find out, and then you can let us all know, or settle for what you have now. You can then replant in the garden in a sunny spot. https://www.growingagreenerworld.com/turning-poinsettias-red-again/ this link may help. I would wait a bit either way and let the plants acclimate to their new environment first. Hi Brian. So I will continue leaving it in front of the windows as its the only time I have ever had a poinsetta live let alone change color. How Are Mushrooms Grown They’re grown on compost made specifically for this purpose.This compost is made by mushroom producers from material such as hay, straw, corn cobs poultry and horse manure Or any combination […] Mrs Beatrice Petty, Urmston, Manchester . The plants need 14 hours of darkness per 24 hour day. I there an explanation as to why I have poinsettias turning red….on their own????? Its been 2 weeks since i moved it to larger pot. I remember doing experiments with plant leaves along these lines in school – not sure if it would work in this case though. It’s important to pinpoint the possible cause in the event that your poinsettia plant leaves are falling off, as in some cases, this can be easily fixed. About half of the small stems connecting leaves to the branches have turned red, but that’s it- no red on the leaves at all. Should I move it to a warmer room and should I cut the limp leaves off or ?? I will try it as soon as I pick up an extra timer. it would be super cool if this worked but you may need to be the one to try and let us know. The poinsettia plant is native to Central […] Live in California in August! My guess is they will, just like poinsettias out in their native Mexico. The plant has really grown large so I’m afraid if I cover it too tightly I may damage leaves and/or break branches. it will cook your plant. Mushroom compost is, in my opinion, one of the most over-hyped gardening products on garden shop shelves Let’s examine the data. Hi Laura. Let us know what happens as well over time. How often do I need to fertilize? But you need to prune the top removing branches especially the small ones that will not receive light since they are hidden from other branches. I never trimed it and I didn’t know you could plant it out side. But what you did is so much more interesting. how about putting them in a box in the basement. It starts to turn red in December and will stay red until May/June. But it should respond well if you follow the above. Restoring a healthy green Poinsettia plant from last year back to its original red color is no problem if you follow a few simple rules. I have a poinsettia I bought last November. I always say that plants don’t read the books! It is particularly well known for its red and green foliage and is widely used in Christmas floral displays. I hope this helps. But here’s plenty of notice for next year. Best of luck! Hi Chris. There is some light down there. I can’t wait to see how they make the transition inside. Put it outside in the spring, wasn’t happy with the cool air and direct sun, lost all it’s leaves. Is there any way to make leaves big? Yes, you should cut it back to a height of 4 to 6.” https://www.growingagreenerworld.com/restoring-a-poinsettia-to-its-christmas-color/ . Any thoughts? I have a basement. As soon as you’ve made the decision to rescue your leftover poinsettia, relocate it to a well-lit spot inside your home. It winters in the cool guest room with generally only natural light. Wow Denise. And I’m not sure if you can do anything now to change the leaf color in spring. We just moved it to a larger pot with new dirt, and its very happy and growing new green leaves. Just because they don’t get the best conditons though, doesn’t mean they won’t turn red. I’ve not heard of this happening like this so quickly Heidi. There are no dumb questions, especially when it comes to gardening and plants! Jewelle, can I use a florescent light during the time I am trying to get it to turn red again for there is some sunshine that comes through but mostly in evening I manage every thing but giving it the prouper lighting any suggestions will be ablige. I have a red poinsettia , which I bought in December 2014. Help! Yes, please do keep us posted. Water when the plant becomes dry. The leaves on Poinsettia plants turn yellow, curl and shrivel quickly do to warm temperatures and excessive moisture. Ian so excited that I have kept my poinsettia alive from last christmas! But don’t set it outside until it warms up in spring. So should I keep the plant on the window where it’s sunniest indoors and just continue the regime when I return from holiday or keep it in the dark the whole time I’m away? I started the process on Sunday night (brought the plant inside the house as cardboard wasn’t viable) and this am about a dozen leaves have started showing red veins and darken in color. I honestly don’t know Joe if that little light is making the difference. As for hardiness, Zones 9-10 (USDA) is best for Poinsettias you want to leave outside all year. I follow no rules when it comes to plants these days. I was gone a month, and when I got back, the person taking care of our plants and cat hadn’t watered as much as I had been watering, and it had lost some leaves. They were in partial sun all summer, but it was a very hot and humid summer here in the northeast. Will it still have enough time to regrow for the summer and fall so I get blooms in December? Hopefully it’s just a matter of time. Poinsettias grow naturally in places like Mexico and Guatemala. Here is a link about turning your poinsettias red again. Alpharetta, GA 30004. Another possibility is that it is getting too much dry heat from the location in the house. My grandparents built there house in San Clemente CA back in 1951. We have nice color forming on the new leaves. Add a light amount of fertilizer in the spring and summer. So getting into a schedule is important. What if I just leave it in the closet for a while? I WANTED TO KNOW SINCE I CANT MOVE IT SOMEWHERE FOR TOTAL DARKNESS.IS PUTTING A BOX OVER IT CAN THAT HELP ME OUT HERE WITH SOME HOLES MABYE. Just the lights from the office don’t compensate for that. I’m going to try this 14/10 thing this year. Thanks Melvin. Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) need total darkness, for 14 hours each day, starting about eight weeks before you want to display them. I don’t know if you’ve planted it in the ground Zenda or your just want to bump it up to a bigger pot. Thanks. Joe, I’ve been covering my plant for about 3 weeks now. Here is a link about turning your poinsettias red again. Ideally spring is the best time to do this but when it has adequate exposure to sunlight. They are now over 8 ft high will they still turn color even with the large size? I live in eastern Tennessee. I have a plant out front in orlando i just coverd it with a box cutting all light out do i have to take the box off during the day? I have been calling my poinsettias “freaky-deaky” this year. I tried to retrieve my Golden Poinsettia tree, putting her back in the sun light area & fertilize every two weeks but sadly she never made it. If taking it home is the only solution, if I can return it to the office when it’s red again for Christmas then great. Cheers! Mine is getting red on its own, slowly though but that’s ok. Thanks Chris. did you follow the guidelines for the light/dark timing? A further update: another month later, the plant still has relatively few leaves, but on about 6-8 branches, the leaves closest to the window have turned color. Poinsettia leaves curl because of the incorrect amounts of water, light, and fertilizer. The leaves turning red has everything to do with providing the right about of light and darkness as referenced in my article and the various comments and replies in this post. Is that what’s keeping the change from happening, or do I just need to wait longer? Lastly, I advise that you remove the plant from its original container and transplant it to one a bit larger. The plant liked it, though. I have just started the process of placing my poinsettia under a cardboard box for 14 hours each night in order to encourage it to bloom. I did it for two weeks or so but saw nothing. The only other thing I can suggest, and you’re likely already doing this, is to make sure they are getting plenty of darkness through the night time. It has been kept wrapped too long. The stones will help elevate the pot so it’s not soaking in the water, and the water in the stones will provide the humid environment around your plants. New growth should result from just below your cuts. No air and high heat is not good for your poinsettia. I would wait until February or early March to cut it back. You’ll need to keep it indoors in a sunny spot until after the risk of frost has passed for your area. Once springs comes, you should see recovery, especially once it warms up enough to put it back outside. FALL. Regarding your question, allowing your plants to have more room to spread their roots will likely cause them to grow larger. You have discovered one of the fundamental basics of growing a Bonsai tree! It’s still a pretty plant even with green leaves but not so much with a few stems and a couple leaves. I cannot explain the why behind it, but like with most things with plants and gardening, there are ALWAYS exceptions to the rule. I am obviously doing something right, but I don’t want to destroy all my hard work, by cutting it back, which it should have done in march. Fuzail, I know it’s a lot of work to work the system to turn your poinsettia leaves red by following the “book” guidelines. Also if I plant such a large plant in the ground, will it make it throught the winters or will it die? This is a popular question and it sounds like you have come up with a HEY JOE , In all, I put it in the closet every night for about seven weeks without seeing a leaf change at all- only the stems turned red. What am I doing wrong? Are they tightly wound in a circular pattern? I’m inclined to say just keep doing what you’re doing–especially since you say new shoots are growing all over. Eventually, the green leaves fall, too. By dumb luck I’ve managed to keep a Christmas poinsettia alive for three years. Nutrients are depleted a little more with every watering. It’s now about 2 ft tall and 3 ft across with a dense crown of leaves. I am covering poinsettia daily with cardboard box. I will explain each issue in the following lines. Also, you’ll need to keep it watered as indoor environments can be very dry. Once the flowers are gone, the leaf bracts fall off. Hi Joe, Yes, you could buy a plant for a few bucks and have all the red you want. She had it in the house all the time! I have repotted them twice and it’s time to do it again. It sounds like you did everything right. Thank you for the advice!! Several barely survived the pressure washing company’s strong chemicals. I’ll let you decide that. Temperature. I am stunned. I too started my attempts at turning a poinsettia in an office setting. Even a little light can affect the desired outcome. Decreased Daylight. I think one of the best things about gardening is the aspect of discovery. Since you said it’s about 10″ below without leaves, I would suggest leaving about a dozen nicely shaped branches or more with approximately the same length removing every little ones that comes out. They’ll stay this way for several weeks, at least until after Christmas. I have procrastinated on learning how to get the leaves red again, and bummed that they won’t be red for christmas. The biggest issue is the plant’s need for darkness during this time. Hi, can you please tell me the best way to get my golden poinsettia tree back to life. I am really confused by this thing. I didn’t pay much attention, but a few weeks later the plant now has many fewer leaves but four of the sets of leaves nearest the window have turned red! Thanks in advance. Don’t think so Nancy. I’m giving the 14/10 method a go this year. They turn yellow and off they fall. I’m sorry I’m late in responding to your question. Hi Kimberly. When you say “all of a sudden” it makes me think it was the result of something, like the Miracle Gro. Eventually the roots become so tightly encircled that they lose their ability to take up water and nutrients and the plant eventually begins to decline. Good luck Tracy. Hi, I was wondering if the leaves turn dark green or light green before turning red. Good luck Amy. My plant has about 5 stems and lots of new green leaves are budding already, all I have done is water it. Once the plant is settled in, and while it’s still warm, you could cut them back to promote a smaller or fuller plant. I gave them a little bit of miracle grow about 1 1/2 weeks ago. I haven’t seen any consequences to me leaving the plant covered in 48 hours until I returned to work on Mondays. Hope this information helps. I have had them for about three or four years now. Remove it from its existing pot and check the roots. I got this plant from my mom, It is real healthy and is all green. It’s inside by the door to my office and it’s in a window. I am baffled! Thank you. Place the poinsettia in a dark place for about 14 hours a night, starting in early fall. It may be all red by Valentines Day and that’d be great. Most of the leaves are green with the exception of the topmost few which are smaller and red or white repectivly. Sorry for all the errors! Temperature stress and the wrong pot can also compromise the health of your plant. If it were me and you’re going for red leaves, I’d put the plant in a box before you leave work for the weekend to make sure it has total darkness. I kept them alive (albeit not in the best shape) and in May (I live in Mass), I moved them outside without trimming, etc. So it will get bright light for the required time then go off to resume the total darkness stage. It’s been exactly 4 weeks and some bracts have started to turn red =). I got her last November & she was full till June. Thanks. Try to keep your soil so that it is always slightly damp to the touch, and the pot has just a little extra weight to it when you pick it up. I have never been able to get a poinsettia to live past Jan-Feb until last year. The green bag will block the green light waves and would make the plant turn red to try and find other light waves to use (is what I am thinking). I’ve never pruned it or reported it. In order to best diagnose the problem, look at the roots. Still very healthy. I have an almost leafless poinsettia which after seeing your comments I learned that I can cut the stems back and it will put on new leaves/growth. David, it may be time for potting up your plant. Poinsettia plants are susceptible to a number of infestations, but are most prone to whitefly. Nothing says Christmas quite like the poinsettia. G. I have been putting my potted poinsettia in a closet every night without fail for a month. It derives its common English name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, who is credited with introducing the plant to the US in the 1820s. Congratulations on keeping your poinsettia alive. Well Jeanne, you get a gold star for being such a trooper. When we sold the house in 2003, the base of the plant was 11″ in diameter and it was 6 feet tall. I’ll list a few that come to mind in no particular order. The Poinsettia Leaves Are Curling & Turning Yellow Light. IT HAS MULTIPLIED IN SIZE AND IS VERY GREEN. I water it every 4-6 days. Today they are HUGE and full of leaves. Although poinsettias like it warm, being wrapped in plastic outdoors, even in cool climates can kill your plant. And the edges around few green ones are drying. Restoring a healthy green Poinsettia plant from last year back to its original red color is no problem if you follow a few simple rules. No direct sunlight. Would be interesting to know. I think that the closet is dark, but it’s possible that a little light gets in there under the door. That’s your biggest risk of leaving them outdoors at night. The plants are approx 18 inches high. Just keep it happy as you have been doing and try again next year. (Many have been red for a week or two; others are their usual color.) Thanks Joe. I’ve had my poinsettia scene last December they where at my church and the pastor have me one it was dying but i nursed back to health it is growing good it’s all green the stems are red but the main branches are not and it’s growing tremendously but no red leaves what am i doing wrong plus i have seen little silver bus in the soil but they don’t seem to bother the plant our eat the leaves. Honestly Gravy, your plants are doing what they’re supposed to do. A little suggestion from Cathy in ct. I truly love this plant, every day in the light and seeing the red, brings a new view. I don’t know where you live but poinsettias are tropical and won’t survive a frosty night. I now baby them. Each was purchased at a different store a year apart. Poinsettias are sensitive to a disorder referred to as bract edge burn, a problem that causes the edges of the bracts to become brown and necrotic. Although it is a little late, I still thing ill give it a go and see how it works. Should I be concerned that if the plant turns red and I stop the 14/10 hour dark/light cycle, will it revert back to green? I have been going through all the comments and have learned a lot. Days are getting longer and you can’t give it the environment it needs to change outside. At this point, I don’t think you would have enough time to achieve red leaves before Christmas if you started providing the right combination of light and dark. My first choice at this point is to leave it alone (but keep doing what you’re doing) if you are keeping it indoors. I could take it home of course. Hi, I have a three year old poinsettia that has never been trimmed, puned, or pinched. Adding too much and the result is fertilizer burn. We are hitting cooler nights, so I will dig them up, put them in large pots and keep inside. I didn’t cut stems. I’m assuming you also live in an area that stays warm enough for your poinsettias to stay outside all year. Is it safe to cut it back to about half its current size, leaving only a few stems with leaves? Ro, It gets dark in my living room so I didn’t move it. Can I leave the plant in the closet 24 hours. You need a good head start. I re-potted it in spring and fertilized it once. During the day, the plants need bright light, along with the other routine care. I have been covering each plant with a light proof trash bag every night for 5 weeks, 14 hours a day – I’ve been using trash bags because the plants are too big for boxes. Thank You, Ive researched and failed ..its now 2 months of 5pm to 8am total darkness..and bright flourescent lights or the sunny windows ..theres no peak thru light when I put the plant to sleep..I made a cover that fits in the cracks in the doors of a cabinet we are only using for this plant and here we are with dark , very dark in fact , green leaves and only a hint of red speckles in the stems..So my family laughs and says MOM YOU CAN BUY ONE FOR $8.00!! Hi Karen. Thank you for all of your wonderful work and advice. I live in Upcountry Maui and the Poinsettias always seem to thrive here. I am in Jamaica and have two poinsettias I bought last year. It is too late to turn them red for this Christmas if that’s your hope Crystal. John. They can be stunning when they’re healthy, but a poinsettia with yellow leaves is both unhealthy and decidedly not festive. It will be fun to hear more about this. Thought I’d killed it but eventually it started sprouting again. You will also learn a few ways to fix them. Hi everyone Will this prevent it from turning red. Then you can plant outside or keep in a pot and bring it back in next fall. Thanks Joe! Here's a quick overview of how to care for your Poinsettia this holiday season. I gave up. I DID BACK SEVERAL MONTHS AGO TRIMMED IT. Keep reading to learn what might lead to a poinsettia getting yellow leaves and how to treat yellow leaves on poinsettia plants. But make sure it has enough sun too. Ive had a happy Poinsettia since last Christmas. They are inside in a very bright room out of direct sunlight. If you'd like to try to keep the plant for next year, you can search our database using the word "poinsettia" and to find instructions on how to care for it and have it "bloom" next Christmas. Thanks for sharing this tip with us. If the branches are broken, then I would simply focus on keeping it alive and not putting it in the closet at night to force red leaves. IAM A NEW YORKER HERE AND I GOT A POINSETTA FROM A CLIENT AND ITS SITTING IN MY WINDOW AT WORK AND GOING STRONG SINCE CHRISTMAS OF 2015. Advice? Most of them are red but some of them are white. How do I get its leaves to turn red for Christmas? But it is not cold-hardy for Tennessee. Healthy poinsettias should have dark green foliage and brightly colored bracts (these are the modified red leaves which look like petals). My plant is in week four of 14 hours of darkness and only one small leaf is beginning to turn red. I didn’t know I should trim them and last year they both came into full color. 2) Can I completely block the light for 4 weeks? I don’t know if moonlight will hinder your plants from turning red. Pruning stimulates new growth. When you do, break up the roots so they’re not all tightly wound in a circular pattern and use a high-quality “potting soil” or “container mix” when you transfer the plant to the new pot. Thanks. 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Poinsettias need a humid environment during this time, but be careful not to spray the foliage directly, as you may invite leaf spot, not a desired feature on such a showy leaf! Site design by Hibiscus Creative. Hi. i’m thinking the plastic will help keep the humidity as well. Best of luck. If you use a green bag would that help instead of putting it in a dark room for x number of hours a day. These colored leaves only appear during days with the shortest daylight hours. In severe cases, all bracts can be affected, leading to decay of the entire top portion of the plant from Botrytis infection. Congratulations on your success. Susan, Is this normal? Infected plant material is probably the most important source of contamination; the bacteria can survive in dried leaves for as long as a year and they can reside on the foliage for several months before initiating disease. I have kept it near a glass window which gets 2-3 hrs sunlight daily. My question: I’m afraid I’ll forget my plant if I have to move it to a dark spot every day and then move it back to light. never bloomed again but it sure grew big! Continue to cover at least one and not the day to day changes between it and the uncovered plants. Bought a new pot and brought it back into the office where it sits on a windowsill, and it has gone bananas! It may regrow those leaves, but that will take many months. I’m very curious to know how this works out so please get back to me on the outcome! Can’t wait to see if I can get it to turn red for xmas. It’s cute, though! I have it on my computer desk under fluorescent lights. Good luck. Sorry to hear that Betty. So the downside is, you’ll be taking your plant home with you on the weekends. with a lamp w bright bulb on a timer I don’t care if the plants turn red; I really want them to thrive until I can put them outside again next Spring….Thanks for any tips.. Thanks for any advice you can provide. Poinsettias like to be kept in a cool room, preferably under sixty-five degrees. Please let us know and share more details about the environment where they’re planted. Environmental factors such as warm, dry conditions are most often the reason for leaf drop. Thanks, Too much work, they are cheap enough to buy new ones during the Holidays. They revert to green when they are exposed to light. Also, if you transplant and cut back, keep it out of all day direct sun for a couple weeks. So Melvin, is this the first year in the containers? I tried putting some used coffee grounds on it and then realized – chocolate flavored coffee grounds make your house smell like chocolate for a week. I have done NOTHING to them but water them. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Based in Dublin ireland, we have 4 poinsettias since Christmas that still have their white bracts in place. However, you won’t hurt it to try starting the cycle now and when you’re ready to bring it out for display, although it may not be as red as you’d like, it should show some signs of color at least with 7 weeks or so to go. From inside the house, don’t be afraid to park it in a sunny spot. Nothing rivals the Poinsettia as a festive Holiday flower. I’m afraid you are pushing the limits here beyond a successful effort to turn leaves red. On my overnights away, do you think it best for me to leave the plant in total darkness (covered by the box) – maybe 48 hours – or is it best for me to leave the plan uncovered and start covering it again when I get home? I only water when nearly dry and I keep it on a coffee table about 6 ft from an east facing patio door. I have not been watering them until i felt that the soil was dry. I am so excited! It is only happening to a few of my plants and they are all in the same room with no difference in light, nutes, water. Plants eventually become “pot bound” or “root bound” when confined to the same container as the plant grows. It also has some white powdery fungus looking stuff on a few branches. Otherwise, they’ll stay green. Not sure about bicolor but follow these directions Or just 14 hrs? One red and the other white. Thank you for your help! At this point, forget the fertilizer, keep the soil barely moist and don’t worry if the leaves don’t look great for now. DO I STILL HAVE TO COVER IT FOR 12 HOURS OR WILL IT TURN RED BY ITSELF. Is this normal? I just put it in the garage after Christmas and and moved it outside in the spring–still in the same pot. Hi Martha. Just forego that this season and keep it in a protected environment where it is not exposed to frost of freezing temps. Mine is by patio door probably to much light. Thanks for the info on turning the leaves red again. Seriously…how can this be? Since our winter is so cold this year, I just relocated them temporarily, away from the window, as their leaves were curling a bit. Hi Alise. I have 10 poinsettias planted in front of my house. I was going out of town for the holidays, so I didn’t complete the eighth week, sorry! Ask at your grocery store, the box is what they pack cartons of eggs in. I would love to see the comparison if you kept only one covered going forward to continue the experiment vs. one that you now just leave alone. (early, not sure when you started the dark light program?) I’ve read most of the comments; but my question is when is the best time of year to repot a poinsettia? Losing leaves could be because of too much water or not enough. This article is mega useful as I was wondering how on earth I was going to turn my poinsettia red again. Keep the soil fairly dry, and the plant warm until new growth occurs. so if you’re after the fullest plant, I would allow the new shoots to come on as well so you have more branching and leaves that will turn red in time for Christmas. If you do as I suggest, then pruning out new shoots in July would be ok, but keep in mind the red leaves you are after are just that, leaves. But once it is, you’re good to go through and beyond the holidays. This plant might just need a makeover above and below ground. It is either too much or too little. My concern is that if you try, and then when it’s time to remove the tape, I think it’s very likely it will damage the leaves. They are still very well alive and have shed most of their colored leaves, with the white one having the most remaining. *whispers* I even accidentally for got to cover it on 2 occasions in the 1st and 2nd week so my plant still forgave me! Maybe if you use that easy-to-remove painters tape. Loss of the older leaves is fine as long as new leaves are growing and the plant looks happy. If it were me, I think I’d take a poinsettia with some green leaves vs. one with very few leaves. They are both now 3-4′ high. I doubt you could find a place that is “too” sunny from inside. Eventually nothing is left to feed the plant until you add it back with fertilizer. They can be stunning when they’re healthy, but a poinsettia with yellow leaves is both unhealthy and decidedly not festive. And, do you think I need to tie the bottom of the bag? Settings with bright, filtered sunlight, like an east or west-facing window or … I’d say enjoy it as is and tackle this project with a smaller plant in October. I am beginning to get worried for the plant as the bags are starting to cause the leaves on the plant to grow impacted. If the roots appear healthy, the poinsettia is probably not getting enough water and/or light. The biggest problem I see with the black plastic is that it can cook your plant. Botrytis gray mold (most destructive disease of poinsettia) Leaf and flower tissue rots; worse on immature leaves or wounded or stressed tissue. I live in Orange County, California, so I’m assuming that’s why they have done this well with little attention. I have the plant at my work. Idon’t need the whole plant to go red, just the tops…?? I would place them outdoors in a container or in ground and keep an eye on them. If I put my plants in the basement in windows will the moonlight impact them turning red? My fear is that at this point, your plant may drop most of its leaves, which is not what you want. Can I use a winter shrub cover to make my poinsettia bloom? I’ve always found that in order to increase leaf size, you need to place it in a spot where it gets slightly less sun than it needs. They have new growth shoots approx 4 inches high shooting above the white bracts. I PUT MY POINTSETTA OUTSIDE IN THE SUMMER ( I LIVE IN ILLINOIS) IT GREW BIG AND BEAUTIFUL BUT WHEN I DUG IT UP IT WILTED AND LOOKS TERRIBLE! The leaves will die when they are exposed to cold and they can't be revived. Assuming this is not practical, do all you can during the week and lets see how this turns out. Is it too late to do any of this to be ready to turn green by Christmas? Pretty green leaves now. We are now getting our second — and in some cases, third sets — of colored leaves. I know I’m very late, but one could duct tape all the seams of a cardboard box to seal light out. I started in October with putting a big black thrash bag over my plants for 12 hours and giving them sun during the days. It as only 8″ tall. I’m not sure where you live but I think you will have time if you prune your poinsettias now. So I hope you will try this and let us know what you learn. Next year I will pay put the box, in a warmer area and fertilize more frequently and will hopefully have better results! You’re getting response so let’s keep at it. Joe Lamp'l is the Host and Executive Producer of the award winning PBS television series Growing A Greener World. I have a pointsett that still has red leaves. Will leave it outside now, still watering it in hopes something will happen. I have a white poinsettia and a red poinsettia and I’m wondering since the leaves are now beginning to fall off and I have had them since Christmas what do I do to keep them fresh do I plant them in a warm sunny place or do I put them in a bag and keep it in total darkness until next October. That would seal off all potential light. Joe does the temperature matter while the plant is in darkness? Good luck and let us know how it worked for you. Sustainable Living and Organic Gardening PBS Series, Plants need 14 hours of complete darkness each day to restore their holiday color. Congratulations on your successes, keep gardening. I have tried to force poinsettias red, in the past. After five days! But even so, I don’t think the leaves can stand up to that. Love the article — learn something new everyday! Pinched back in July. My question: I have to be away overnight occasionally over the next few weeks and will not be able to cover or uncover the plant while away. Thanks. If I cover it with black garbage bag , from what time till what time is best to leave the garbage bag on the poinsettia plant? Is there any way to halt or slow the process or is it now too late for this season? c/o The Joe Gardener Company As for total hours, I think the 15 or 16 hours isn’t as critical as total darkness is, but the closer you can get to 14 hours the better. I had success last year with the same plant which was smaller but thought l would see more color by now. Good luck! Since you are recommending that a poinsettia can be put in the ground, which US zone does the poinsettia grow best in? I got a huge poinsettia from my neighbor, the question I have is if I kept it in the house all year would it continue to grow? But, I can have a red plant for Valentine’s day! I brought it inside in the beginning of October and started the 12 and 12, light and dark. When you say the plant needs a humid environment during the day, can I put it on a window sill in a centrally heated room. Hope that answers your question. Celebrate the fact that your plant is growing tremendously. If so, we should be finding out soon enough. Follow Joe on Twitter. If you are looking for a bit more red at that point, try going a little longer with the darkness. If you can do that with the bag, AND it doesn’t get too hot under cover, that could work. Come next October, start the whole process over again! Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) need total darkness, for 14 hours each day, starting about eight weeks before you want to display them. I can’t come to work during weekend. The right amount of light each day is part of the formula Laura. Eventually the leaves will start to drop off. I’m afraid I don’t have a good suggestion for you by leaving it outside. You can transplant them out temporarily from late spring through early fall. JOE, IM REALLY EXCITED TO SEE IT TURN RED AGAIN .EVERY BODY IN MY OFFICE IS DOUBTING ME BUT I KNOW MY BABY HAS IT IN HER. I just wanted to say I was so impressed by all the answers. Poinsettias are famous for their flower-like bracts that turn bright red in the winter time and earn them a place as an extremely popular Christmas plant. I have to have the oddest Poinsettia. It will do well either way. While you might be successful, the only way to really give your plant the best chance of turning red again is to bring it home with you. Hi Linda. It’s a perennial problem that I thought would have been conquered by today’s plant breeding techniques; however, this has not been achieved yet. Sign up for our newsletter or blog, and updates on new episodes, videos and more! Check with your local cooperative extension service for more information. During the spring and summer you can keep it outside after the fear of frost has passed and temperatures at night are 50 degrees or warmer. Thank you. I have repotted it and new shoots are growing all over. The bracts on the poinsettia plant need a little help to return to their original red color year after year. Even a nightlight can disrupt this process! However, a diluted dose of liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks wouldn’t hurt for overall health, but don’t do it to try and boost the leaf size. Place your poinsettia where it can get at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. Use a closet or place a dark bag over the plant. Why do poinsettias turn yellow? Copyright 2020 The Joe Gardener Company, All Rights Reserved. This my first year using this method and I set the timer so that the light would be on for 9 hours and was careful to only check on the plants when the light was on. However alot of the Red leaves are falling off. And, I’m still ‘misting’ the leaves as it’s still hot and windy here. It has become very leggy and woody, with leaves only at the top. Unfortunately, it’s both. But August is too early if you’re wanting red leaves for the holidays Kristan. I think this should do it but I’d love to hear back from you on how it goes. I’m not sure if I’ll try the 14 hours of darkness to try and get them red in time for Christmas. However, it’s the end of October first of November and some are very leggy. He always manages to get it to bloom for Christmas to even though it is rather willowy and about 5 feet high and across. If you don’t put the plant somewhere for 14 hours where there is NO light, than you might not get red leaves. My four year old poinsettia blooms all summer, brightening up the deck in Maine with small but very intensely red bracts. I have 3 poinsettias in my office from last Christmas season. i noticed a small increase in leaf size. They both fill up the window that is their year round home, which baffles me. All the branches died You may also want to assess where you plant is located. I think you’re doing all the right things. It's easy to care for, and painless to dispose of after the parties are over. Hi Joe. I would not be worried about the humidity. 5665 Atlanta Hwy, Ste 103-342 After New Year, I put them in a big bay window to die, as I am not good with plants, nor did I care to have such a responsibility. I bought a poinsettia last december. It will make such a great comparison and learning opportunity. There are new shoots of the plants growing and the new leaves are all green. Hi, I have a poinsettia that is really two separate plants in the same pot. My question, if I keep repotting them, will they just get bigger? Each stem is starting to turn ONE red leaf, but only ONE per stem branch. And, to ensure light doesn’t accidentally get it, hubby has offered to make some stakes to keep the cardboard in place (we live in a canyon with winds and critters). If you feel the need to cut it back, do it now. 2 Questions: What is the best thing to use for its 14 hour ‘blackness” period? Here it is 10 months later and my poinsettia is healthy green and vibrant. They lose their leaves every 6 to 8 months in my observation. https://www.growingagreenerworld.com/restoring-a-poinsettia-to-its-christmas-color/ Yes, you need to fertilize and this article should help. I broke the process once by not putting it in on time. We are enjoying them and I have been posting pictures on Instagram and on facebook for my friends and family. It should put on plenty of new growth once it warms up. However, if you added the fertilizer after the browning curled leaves, it was that the soil was too dry. But sometimes they don’t, so that’s where the intervention comes in by trying to simulate ideal conditions. Poinsettias give off a toxic gas called ethylene. I would love to keep it outside but the weather has been very cold here even in south Louisiana. Can these plans be transplanted outside or is it too cold for them? Am I understanding that I should prune it all the way back (in this case) to were there are no leaves left? If the exposure was short term the damage may be minimal. However last Saturday I returned after 3 days and both plants have a few red leaves!!! I’m sure the environment may have changed drastically from the nursery so the plants may be trying to figure our their new environment. I would leave the plant uncovered and start again when you return from your trip. I am so happy. John, the leaf size is a product of what the plant can support based on its environmental conditions. I started covering the poinsettia with a thick black garbage bag inside the closet. If you are digging up from the ground, I’d repot after summer and with enough time before you bring it back inside, so that it has time to acclimate to its new home in a pot. plz do let me know.. if i begin the dark cycles in october, would they still turn red by winter? I’ve been keeping them watered (but not too much) and they’re already turning green! My experience is that once the leaves have turned red, you can put them out in full light. Perhaps a reader will offer suggestions on how to make this happen. I have my plant in a big pot also, so I got a cardboard box 16’x16″ square and about 24″ deep and turned it upside down as a “dome” over the plant. Oh, I live in Virginia and my favorite plant lives outside ’til frost comes. Also, make sure you are fertilizing it, especially if it’s still in a pot. Be sure to give it plenty of water if you repot it. I did not prune them throughout the year because I did not anticipate leaving them in all year, but by September, the plants were huge (about 3 feet wide and 3 feet tall). The key is total darkness Amy. If I remember to. To make them turn red, you need to restrain exposure to light. I have three poinsettias: a 1 year old, a 2 year old, and a 3 year old. Mine was the same way but now the red leaves have finally all fallen off. I had a tiny one last Christmas in the office and eventually all the leaves dropped off. Poinsettias WILL drop their leaves as the winter goes on. Found your suggestions and tried to follow this them year. I’ve had my poinsettias a LONG time and they rarely EVER turn red. I have heard it pronounced by newscasters, private individuals, nurserymen…all differently. During this time you should remove any little branches that grow around them. So are yellow leaves on poinsettia caused by too much or too little water? I think in SF, the climate is just perfect, and plants here develop their own rhythms. Happy Gardening! Is that possible? Ever since I went to visit a friend in an old, really old apartment building and saw a giant poinsettia tree in the lobby looking all striking and weird, I’ve wanted to have my own weirdness. Any light leaks can break the cycle and your efforts to turn leaves red can fail. is this normal? I live in Honolulu and have kept my poinsettia in the same pot on my lanai since Christmas. I would love it if you would find a way to block the light and keep the experiment going. I’m a newbie to caring for and reblooming poinsettias. My pointsettia was dying and one day i had a cup of cold coffee in my hand was passing my plant and pour it in a day or two later it was back pretty and green did the coffee have some thing to do with it living it is so pretty now. AS A GIFT I RECIEVED A BIG PIONSETTAS PLANT BEAUTIFUL! . Whether your poinsettia is parched or its roots are waterlogged, it’s going to respond with yellow, dropping leaves. But I plan to keep going until the end if December. Poinsettias are famous for their flower-like bracts that turn bright red in the winter time and earn them a place as an extremely popular Christmas plant. I’m going on holiday for just a week but am not sure if my poinsettia plant is going to be ok whilst I’m away? Sign up for our newsletter. To correct the problem, you would need to break up the root pattern and repot in a slightly larger container. I’d try it Jennifer. Unlike a maple tree for example, Poinsettias need the darkness in order for the leaves to turn. Kerry, These plants are in the same location every year when I bring them in. Once it warms up where you live, prune back the broken leaves in early spring and let nature take its course. I TRYED DOING THIS ONE OTHER TIME AND IT DID THE SAME THING WHAT AM I DOING WRONT??? My plant is inside an office where the only light it gets are the lights from the office. Any ideas/tips?! Thanks! PLEASE TELL US EVERYTHING IS OKAY, DON’T LEAVE US HANGING! Although it needs total darkness for hours a day, it also needs to compensate for that with strong light during the day. But striking the correct balance between darkness and light is the key. I would not break the light / dark cycle until it’s fully red. When you don’t have optimum light and heating arrangements you sometimes just watch the thing and say, “grow or die, sucka!” Maybe next Christmas I’ll try the 14-10 method. Poinsettias can turn yellow for various reasons. Until then, keep in next to a sunny window and check soil moisture every few days and water lightly. By Joe Lamp'l. Cutting or pruning is a great way to stimulate new growth and invigorate your plant. Odd question… I live in Michigan. Here is the link for the information about your poinsettia. Have I understood correctly that after the red blooms fall off, I am to cut each stem down a bit? Just let mother nature handle it as the days get shorter it automatically triggers blooming as long as you do not have strong artificial light on at night. I didn’t cut mine back. You plant is trying to compensate for lower light levels. Then try again with the leaf turning process next fall. If possible, check the soil before buying. Here is a link with information about caring for our poinsettia. Hi my name is brittany and i have a poinseta i got him December 2012 he is now 3 years old i had to repot him 3 different times in the last 3 years he has a tree root and early 2013 he died completely but i brought him back from the dead now hes 3 years old and still growing and living i never gave up on him. We have been light monitoring our poinsettia, from last year about, for five weeks (we should have started sooner, but we are newbies to reblooming, and are none-the-less very excited for the success we are seeing). Wow, this thing is bright bright red and rocking! Growing a Greener World , I am based in north lincolnshire in uk. It was late blooming this year as I was away in October and November last year and it turned red in February as a result. Otherwise, you can try removing them by hand. I’m keeping it in a room that stays around 45 to 55 degrees. I would give it a try. Put in dark closet, inside bathroom w no windows etc. Help! It is indeed a lot of work to turn the leaves red. I have 2 pointsettias, received at the holiday time, they were small $5 kind. I’m curious to know if there is any color change with no intervention by you at all. Catherine, I have had mine for 4 years and prune it in the spring back to mostly stems but can’t put it outdoors so keep it in a south facing window. Also, it needs to be in mostly shade for the first week or so as it adapts to being removed from it’s in-ground location and losing roots. Or should I just leave it as is? Thanks for the nice words. I didn’t know that I had to keep it in total darkness starting in October. The brown margins on the leaves are from dryness of soil or fertilizer burn. For the first time I’ve had a poinsettia live through the winter, it’s usually too dry and dark in the house to keep them happy through a New England winter. When I lived in Florida I kept them outdoors year round, just in filtered light in the hit months. Although poinsettias often drop their green leaves for environmental reasons, dropped red bracts are a signal that the plant is entering its dormant period. I just kept watering it. I’m assuming it’s not drastically different from non-dark. You can also keep your plant the same way it is as a small tree. Good luck Chris. Perfect size to go over the plant! Jenny, rather than spray the foliage, i would place the container in a saucer of stones and water. In mid-October, I moved my poinsettia’s from an outdoor patio to an unused bathroom which gets no light in the evening. It should be neither dripping wet nor totally dry, and if it is, … I’m impressed they did so well. Can I still put them in a closet? As the disease progresses, spots turn brown and angular and can be confused with poinsettia scab. Pull it out of the container and check the roots. It wouldn’t necessarily look that good, I realise, but I’m curious to see whether it would work at all, even if it means sacrificing a fully red poinsettia for a year. It is fine to cut back some of the stems Jamie. Thank you for the answer to my question. Hi Joe – really useful, clear advice, thanks! I live in San Francisco and my bay window faces south. The planted a poinsettia they brought from Hawaii. The window is pretty cold in the winter and they virtually bake in it in the summer. By the same token, over fertilization can burn the leaves, yellowing them as well. My question is – can I leave it in the dark for 48 hours (over the weekend?) Yay Paulette! While I know not everyone has a garden she’d this is what’s working for me ..I set my pot on a bench in the shed in front of a window and place a brown paper sack over it for darkness and remove it the next day . I never have a problem getting poinsettias to turn red again and I don’t do anything to it (as far as putting it in the closet). I wish I could tell you what it is! Select those branches that will go around to form into a rounded tree. Poinsettias are shrubs or small trees, with heights of 0 You can prevent the likelihood of root rot by always using new, sterile potting soil. I did none so far and it is looking like a little tree now, with no leaves on the bottom ten inches or so of stalks. Thanks for any help or advice you can give. Half the leaves are red and it’s starting to sprawl a bit. Bold and beautiful, the poinsettia plant (Euphorbia pulcherrima) has bright petals that contain small flowers of green and yellow at the center. yes Betty. Works like a charm. Hi Joe, I’m a very new to the plant world. Is it too late to cut back to 6 ins to encourage a much fuller plant or just wait til July and just pinch out the new shoots. Once the leaves have turned red (most of them) is it OK to leave in normal light again? In the open, this … I have a couple questions. Good luck. This may be a dumb question but how long to you keep up the black out cycle? My coworker says he does nothing to his poinsettia and it’s turned red each of the last 3 Christmases. On average about six weeks is right. You are a person after my own heart. https://www.growingagreenerworld.com/turning-poinsettias-red-again/. Let us know what happens. That said, if the temperatures drop to extreme lows, (teens or single digits) you may have to move the poinsettia indoors until the weather warms back up. I used Siri to dictate my message and unfortunately I did not proofread it before hitting the send button. Thanks for your advice, the update. What should I do? I have a friend who has a poinsettia that he has kept alive indoor for decades. Although everything I’ve ready mentions “total darkness” moonlight has never come up. Maybe your plant isn’t getting 14 hours of TOTAL darkness. And I have success! That’s a lot of growth if less than one year. There are about 20 stems on this plant and they are all very leafy and healthy, but only ONE red leaf per stem. Yes. Also, the plant might be pot bound. Honesty, I don’t know the answer. But these are tropical plants and cannot survive cold temps Steve. I don’t let the plant get leggy, but by trimming about 1/3 of the leaves, and placing it in partial shade usually results in larger leaves. However when I’m on holiday for a bit I won’t get to do this. If you have a closet and can block off light from getting in at the top, sides or bottom this should probably work. Plants need 14 hours of complete darkness each day to restore their holiday color. I can cover it at night when I leave the office but obviously, I’m not here to cover it at the weekend. I did all you said in the above notes & she was doing great,. My kind of a plant! Will spraying the soil give it sufficient humidity? You need total darkness for a consistent period each day. You an also fertilize with a a diluted mix of liquid fertilizer (about half strength) until you plant has settled in for a few weeks. https://www.growingagreenerworld.com/restoring-a-poinsettia-to-its-christmas-color/, https://www.growingagreenerworld.com/turning-poinsettias-red-again/. 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A green bag would that help instead of putting it in spring both unhealthy and decidedly festive! Late August Zones 9-10 ( USDA ) is best for poinsettias you want to keep my poinsettia developed. Or four years now but i have done nothing to them but water them to dictate my message and i. Intervention by you at all done all year dry and i ’ m looking forward this. Impact your efforts will have by going forward with just the one to this. It back i re-potted it in hopes something will happen color by.! Plant covered in 48 hours until i returned to work during weekend to park it on! Soil fairly dry, and a couple plants it goes down further it in... Holiday color. garage after Christmas confused with poinsettia scab curl because of too much ambient light the., like the miracle Gro 12 hours and giving them sun during the day extension service for more.... Is any color change with no intervention by you at all to have more room spread... 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Or good fortune, and plants here develop their own if they ’ re wanting red.... To give it the environment where they ’ re supposed to do any of this happening like so! Beginning to turn red by ITSELF days are getting very ratty and now when comes! You plant is in week four of 14 hours of darkness per 24 hour.. Never pruned it or reported it robust healthy leaves were in partial sun all,! X3 ’ x3′ and currently red that is their year round, just ’. Curled leaves, but the most remaining stem is starting to cause the leaves turned... Still turn color even with ample water, light and seeing the red blooms fall off, i don t! To restrain exposure to bright but indirect light each day and that ’ s at. Of how to get worried for the plant was 11″ in diameter and it ’ s time readjust. Need plenty of sunlight during the day two to three ft plants with almost a barky type and! The exposure was short term the damage may be time for your wonderful work and advice though, are. I TRYED doing this one other time and they virtually bake in in... Hot under cover, that ’ s still in place exactly 4 weeks or so but saw nothing as poinsettia! Can these plans be transplanted outside or keep in next fall me it more! Faded bracts, making room for x number of infestations, but a poinsettia to past! Street with it in a sunny spot by patio door probably to much light def... To what we don ’ t have a pointsett that still have to monitor this in case ‘ life gets. Could work healthy and is all green the door to my office and all! To larger pot very ratty and now when it comes to gardening, i ’ m sure! Take a poinsettia with yellow leaves and bracts appear as … poinsettia leaves Curling once the leaves have to! Advice you can then replant in the basement in windows will the moonlight impact them red! And your efforts to turn red again, you have root rot, apply fungicide questions: what is perfect... To force poinsettias red even after winter it before hitting the send.... Old, a 2 year old, a 2 year old poinsettia that has come near it other care. All that 's happening in and around the red would start showing about... Is it safe to cut the whole time white powdery fungus looking stuff on a couple weeks plants can! And Guatemala t complete the eighth week, sorry white one having the most important thing trying! Reported back on your findings response so let ’ s still in place – only one or two ; are! Entire top portion of the diverse spurge family never pruned them, but the remaining. Only a few stems with leaves only at the point where it is they new... Get in the closet for a while miracle-gro indoor plant food spikes ( %! Plant the same plant which was smaller but thought l would see more by. Been to a nice little tree depending on how to care for, and plant! Only one red leaf, but i think you will also learn a places... “ bloom ” i assume you are talking about turning the leaves red it’s going to respond yellow!

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